Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mental health helpline for troops

A Government-funded helpline to support troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan is being officially launched.

The 24-hour helpline is designed to help troops who may be suffering mental health problems.

The charity Rethink will deliver the service with £200,000 of Government funding for a one-year pilot.

The scheme was announced in October as part of a package of measures aimed at helping troops who may be suffering problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder.

Research suggests one in four of those who fought in Iraq suffered some sort of mental health problem.

Health minister Simon Burns unveiled the free helpline number, 0800 138 1619, which is effective from Friday.

He said the service is part of the Government's "commitment to deliver the best possible health outcomes to veterans".

Families will also be able to call the line to speak to people trained in dealing with ex-service men and women.

Later this year, the scheme, which also involves experts from the charity Combat Stress, will expand to include text and email.

The Department of Health is also working with the Royal College of GPs to help ensure doctors have the right tools to spot symptoms of stress in troops returning home.


  1. My belief is all residents should enjoy mental health. I can understand many feel any who serve their nation should be entitled to all government provisions toward good health and wellness.
    Here is a problem, we can note people find hard to maintain a peaceful, orderly life under great stress and pressure. Because we deal with problems which are often unacceptable-or desirable, such as an auto accident or sudden, dreadful sickness. What about peace-time military service?
    My thought is even without the distress of armed combat there is unwanted, mental challenges associated with serving the military. We realize due to peaceful conditions in the world military staff must be train and ready to do what is required and expected of them. A part of that preparation is being trained to kill others.
    Even if the governments of this world would provide their troops with the best health benefits. The position of military service does not guarantee the best of mental health itself. I look forward to a future when mankind globally would be peaceful with one another in neighborly love and human regard.

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